JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Southwest Elementary School near Jacksonville and this is an area where the district is seeing some of the most growth in enrollment.

"Did you have a good first day? Did you have fun," asked Jacksonville resident Cristal Romeo to one of her children.

On the first day of school over 200 parents visited Southwest Elementary School to check it out for themselves.

Romeo grew up in Jacksonville and married a Marine. Her husband is deployed right now while Romeo is pulling double duty as a single parent, but one thing was soothing to her today-Southwest Elementary School. It's the same school she attended as a kid.

"It was in our school district and I thought it was cool that they were going to the school I went to," said Romeo.

Although the school is familiar, the surrounding area looks a lot different from when she was in Elementary School.

"When I went to school here we didn't even have a bypass and going to topsail there was only two lanes in the road so the roads alone have grown and the neighborhoods. There was a lot more trees a lot less neighborhoods," said Romeo.

Young Marine families have caused a steady rise in Onslow County School enrollment for the last few years, especially in the Dixon area where Southwest Elementary School is located.

"The Dixon area has had a lot of new housing going up and we got a lot of people moving into that housing and so were definitely seeing growth in this area," said Onslow Schools Spokeswoman Suzie Ulbrich.

That growth is expected to push the number of new students in Onslow County to over 300.

Romeo says the growth is so significant that the area would be unrecognizable for adults who might be returning to Jacksonville.

"Its a completely different area. If you got away for that long and came back here you wouldn't recognize it," said Romeo.

The official enrollment numbers will be issued on the 20th day of school state wide.

So far on the first day of school there were 242 additional students in Onslow County. Ulbrich says some students don't show up for school until after Labor Day.